Art Center Summer Residency: Learning and the New Ecology of Things

Saturday November 28 12:06

Seems Art Center’s Media Design Program has extended its deadline for applicants for a summer residency — learning and pervasive/ubiquitous/thing-y computing.

Learning and the New Ecology of Things

We are particularly interested in projects that explore learning in a context of pervasive computing, including mobile technologies, social networking, online systems and digital media. We will consider projects for all learning situations but are most interested in post-secondary art and design education, as an extension of our New Ecology of Things initiative.

This unique context is best for research that incorporates design and prototyping as a mode of inquiry. Outcomes may include working prototypes, speculative visions, new pedagogical models and new learning contexts.

The project may consider the full spectrum of pervasive computing’s role, from additions to the traditional studio classroom, to supplemental learning outside of the classroom, to distance learning with a teacher, to completely self-directed learning.

Since the project is focused on pervasive computing, traditional browser-based online learning systems should not be central to the project.

* How do the tangible interactions enabled by pervasive computing change the potentials of eLearning for art and design students who are learning how to make physical artifacts?

* How might art/design critique be affected by the use of pervasive computing?

* What role might tablets, smart phones, sensors, or actuators play in learning?

* What role might social networking play in new learning systems integrated with ubiquitous computing?

* How might contemporary educational practices such as project-based learning and collaborative learning change in a context of pervasive computing?

* What role might tangible interaction play in education for non-artifact-based design such as that for experiences, plans, and systems?

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When Characters Cross: Extradiegetic Imbrication

Monday August 03, 18.25.31

Jack Bauer as interpreted. Seen in a local art supply shop.

First off, I’m being tongue-in-cheek with the blog post title, so lower your weapons. And I’ll be brief. There are two things going on here.

First, a curious, perhaps pathological contemporary media consumption practices: For the last several years at least, the rituals of, well — watching shows on the old cathode ray tube (haven’t stepped up to the flatness, with apologies to the consumer confidence index) means that I basically consume a season of programming in anywhere from three to ten days, depending.

Second, a symptom exhibited by this ravenous media consumption practice: characters on these shows become “my friends” in an unsettling but, well — immersive way. Whether empathetic friends of friends that, you know — are closer to antagonists, they become deeper parts of the conscious mind in a way that sometimes I’m okay with, but sometimes I am entirely thrown off by.

I first noticed this kind of extradiegetic muddle when I had gone through a real immersion into the addictive and wonderfully preposterous show “24” which everyone and their hairdresser knows about so I won’t get into it except to say — I had JUST moved to Los Angeles where the show mostly takes place. Sure, I had watched episodes before while living in New York City, but this was different. After watching probably five or six hours into the morning dawn during one bender session, I had to get up to go teach a class or something and was still muddle-headed and POV day-dreaming about whatever CTU was chasing down.

First thing, a stop at the bank ATM on the way downtown. I pulled into a spot and began my egress from the driver’s seat and I instinctively looked in my door side rearview mirror to see if I was going to take off someone’s hip before opening the door — and:


CUT TO: A thick black Land Rover SUV with Jack Fracking Bauer jumping out of it.

I swear to god. There he was, jeans and fitted white t-shirt. I froze. Surely he’d see me and mercilessly slam my head into the dash after crushing it like a melon in the door jamb and demand to know where “he/she/it/they” were — or whatever MacGuffin that would lead to the next inevitable plot turn. But, whatever — Bauer was jumping out and I was busted. I’m sure I caught a glimpse of CTU backup dudes lurking around a corner. And his SUV was black, for chrissake. And that’s never a good sign.

Do you — stay in the car or draw and step-to.

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